MARGAO: After receiving legal advice and conducting a site inspection, the Carmona panchayat has decided to grant a construction licence for the Raheja housing project.
MARGAO: After receiving legal advice and conducting a site inspection, the Carmona panchayat has decided to grant a construction licence for the Raheja housing project. While the panchayat intends to place its decision before the gram sabha on September 13, villagers have demanded that the same be done at a public meeting on September 6.
Deputy Sarpanch Orlando Da Silva pointed out that the panchayat had successfully fought against the housing project in the past. However, with new construction rules in place, the Rahejas received permission from the authorities, including the Town and Country Planning department (TCP).
Based on legal advice to the panchayat, Silva stated, they had no option but to grant the licence. He stressed that despite the legal compulsion, the panchayat insisted on putting three conditions before the builders, along with a clause to revoke the licence is these conditions were not met or violated.
The conditions are: the road cannot be broadened (as per the village committee’s decision on the regional plan regarding internal roads); a road should be built on the east so that there is access to River Sal; and a sewerage treatment plant should be in place.
Orlando added that the project consisted of 750 bungalows with 80 percent FAR earlier, and after objections, it had been reduced to 88 bungalows with 60 percent FAR.
Stressing that the panchayat had done everything it could, Silva said they will ensure that no more land is developed for the project, and recalled the recent inspection of the panchayat. He also stated that the builders wanted to do a CSR for the village, which had been rejected by the locals and panchayat.
In his legal opinion, the panchayat lawyer Advocate Kamalakant N Pai submitted that from the panchayat’s inspection report, it was clear the proposed project is bound on all sides by a compound wall. He said, “The access/pathway on the eastern and western sides has been maintained. There is an acquired road of six meters width on northern side. Considering this, there is no infringement of easementary rights. Under such circumstances the panchayat has to issue the construction license with the condition imposed by TCP and Goa State Environment Impact Assessment Authority.”
Pai also pointed out that the company is the sole owner and possessor of the property, having acquired the same from an earlier owner, and that the survey records are also mutated in their names as sole occupant.